Researchers Using Dance to Slow Parkinson’s Progression
I love these sorts of stories. The ones where a seemingly normal and unremarkable activity is shown to make a demonstrable improvement in the lives of people suffering from terrible chronic diseases. In this case: Parkinson’s Disease. From CBS News.
“New research is offering hope to at least 6 million people across the globe living with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder caused by a lack of dopamine, which is needed to help nerves communicate. There is no cure, but a specific course of music and movement can help slow progression of the disease.
Up until his late 50s, Manny Torrijos wasn’t much of a dancer. But in the 13 years since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, dance has become part of his identity. He can be found three times a week at a program called Dance for Parkinson’s Disease. “
Over ten thousand people participate in the DPD program around the world. They’ve shown pretty definitively that these relatively simple and non-impactful dance moves help slow disease progression. It’s not drugs, or surgery, or sketchy supplements; it’s a creative and healthy activity that also helps people bond. That last point – bringing people who suffer from the same disease together – is incredibly important. Support circles are all too often an overlooked and neglected part of the therapeutic process. Just having someone who knows what you are going through to talk with can ease the mental and emotional stresses of living with a chronic condition. If the group activity also slows disease progression, even a little bit, that’s all the sweeter.
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